Banksy t-shirts.

At last I can reveal another little gem in Portobello Road, the unofficial Banksy tshirt shop.  To say my boys squealed with delight when I sent them a couple of photographs is an understatement – there was rapid texting at the speed of the fastest classically trained touch typists enquiring as to whether and which ones I was going to buy for them.  Little did they know I was sat drinking coffee purchases heavily weighted against my chair.

They had two the same the arsonist throwing a bouquet of flowers and my personal favourite a punk rocker being looked after by his mum, and then a gun toting  panda and for my atheist children Jesus dripping with Christmas presents.  After having them for a week I can confirm  the Banksy has met with much approval.  It’s so nice to get something right.



Hyde Park.


Remember the day when I got hopelessly lost in Hyde park. At the end of it all I took a photograph of the park and found I’d been lost in that big expanse of green, which bit of the expanse of green with the crisis cross pathways I have yet to discover.

It mostly looked like this. Which wasn’t very helpful.  Along with Hyde park being a lot bigger than I had imagined combined with being mostly on the flat, it gave no clue as to where one was.  (Well to me it didnt)

There  were times that I came across some lovely floral displays – before being steered in the wrong direction again.

Let’s  just say the kindness of strangers is not always a benefit, especially if they only hear the word Serpentine.





Tom Phillips, A Humument, Royal Academy of Arts.

Tom Phillips 1I wander around the RA and I come across a room filled with pages from a book used as drawing paper and immediately I snort with derision.  I look closer and ascertain that yes, they have word bubbles in the pictures and I am immediately even more annoyed.  ‘This has been done before, its just been copied’ and I turn on my heels and walk away.Tom Phillips 2

But the pictures haunt me, they won’t leave my subconscious alone.  In my mind I question the integrity of the RA, why would they display work that has been copied?  And the words in bubbles haunt me, haunt me, haunt me.Tom Phillips 3

A memory surfaces, I can’t quite see it, but its there, I’m young, 10 or 11,  my chubby fingers are trying to control a very blunt HB pencil as I press deeply into the page scouring the landscape as I encircle a word. Its hot and dusty and bright and then I am back, in the terrapin we used as a classroom for two years, always so hot in the summer.

Tom Phillips 4And then I see it, an animated Mr Davies, talking and talking and talking about an art exhibition he had been to see.  He shows us some of the work, I don’t remember whether it was a postcard or magazine or book, but I look at it, and I love it.  And I copy it with my little chubby fingers and my blunt HB pencil and colour in with the schools powdery poster paints.  And he tells us about how we too could make our own book by doing a page a day.  And I love the idea and sometimes I do a page, but the idea is lost as is the way with childhood and the busyness of growing and learning.  But I never forget because I loved it so and often think about the word bubbles and the pictures, in that terrapin with the smell of the hot dust and bright sunshine.

And so I go back to the RA to look at the work properly and its familiar and then it hits me; This is the artist that Mr Davies was talking about.  This is the artist that I copied with my little chubby fingers and my blunt HB pencil, aged 10 or 11, in a hot dusty terrapin some 39 years ago. Tom Phillips 5

I buy the book, I am quite giddy and I love it so – all over again.

That is the work of a good teacher to inspire such recall after nearly 40 years.

And because they are just so much fun, I’ll share a couple with you. – buy the book, its amazing.



Regent Street Summer Streets.

Hubby and I had a little trundle down Regent Street last Sunday and it was a very pleasant interlude in our hectic weekend.  There were little twists and turns of detail that suited adults and children alike, the atmosphere was just – buzzy – which suited the bee’s just fine that were suited and booted, flying over the rooftops of London as we speak.  We really enjoyed learning about the Wild West End ecology initiative just about to be launched which will allow green tracts of land to join and expand to form a corridor linking Regent’s Park and St James’s.   Not only does this help the birds, bats and bugs it helps us by cleaning up the air, which can be no bad thing, especially in central London.

Regent Street Summer Streets continues for the next three Sundays, have a look Regent Street Summer Streets.


Kensington Palace

I went for a quick trip around Kensington Palace the other day, it was lovely.  Many of the rooms are kept very dark, almost to the point where it is difficult to see!  The more important the artifact the darker it was, and of course no flash photography was allowed, this made photographing Queen Victoria’s mourning dress which was black quite tricky, her writing set for some reason was in an even darker area, which was trickier still.

Just a few snaps of my lovely afternoon.

Savage Beauty V & A Open 24/7

For the first time in its 163 year history the V & A will open around the clock for the final two weekends of this exhibition – its simply That Good.

From July 24 until July 26 and then July 31 to August 2.

If you were thinking about it, this will be your last chance,  and how exciting to wander around the corridors of the V & A at 3 a.m.  to feel the presence of that building with hardly anybody in it, I think I might go just for that.


Shoes Pleasure & Pain, V & A.

After enjoying all those bubbles in the Exhibition Road I realised that I was just a few steps from the V & A.  and I remembered there was an exhibition I had been meaning to see,

DSC_0343This exhibition looks at the extremes of footwear ranging from ancient Egypt to contemporary designs. The shoes were often complex and startling in their design and beauty.

I wandered around quite happily but then when I climbed the spiral staircase to go up towards more shoey heaven, I came across the making of the shoe and oh how I loved this so.  I will forever be someone who loves the construction of an item, it just gives me so much joy, it literally makes my soul shiver.   So I took a couple of snaps, naughty I know, but not invading anyone’s design features. Shoes 2

I would love these as a design feature in a conservatory or a hall way, they would be so much fun. shoes 3

Sir Lawrence Olivier’s foot pattern, note the slight bunion on the left foot. shoe 3


All the parts of a ladies court shoe ready to put together.

And this is the best bit.

shoe 4

Wedgwood heel anybody?   How could anybody not love those!

It was a lovely exhibition, I left with a great longing for a new pair of shiny shoes, with maybe just a twist of glamour and glitter about them.


Bubbles Man – Exhibition Road.

After visiting the Serpentine Pavilion I decided to head to the underground and went completely the wrong way ending up walking along Exhibition Road, when I came across the most amazing Bubbles Man. (I have no idea of his name, but to me he will always be Bubbles Man)  Oh it was fun to sit and watch and put my camera into otherwise unknown super fast shutter speeds to freeze the action.

Bubbles 8 Bubbles 9 Bubbles 10 Bubbles 11 Bubbles 12 Bubbles 13The way the bubbles changed shape was simply mesmerizing.  Bubbles 5 Bubbles 6 Bubbles 7

As you might imagine the children loved the huge bubbles, they were often drenched with the soapy water when the bubbles popped. It was surprising just how much water the bubbles held,  the children weren’t going to need much scrubbing come bath time. Bubbles 14 Bubbles 15 Bubbles 16 Bubbles 17

And the teamwork was just wonderful.Bubbles 18 Bubbles 19 Bubbles 20

There were unspoken but immediately formed coalitions.

And sometimes just sometimes,  Bubbles 21 Bubbles 22 Bubbles 23 Bubbles 24

There was one that got away, for a few seconds of unadulterated pure hedonism. Bubbles 25

Until the inevitable happened, and it too went Pop !

Serpentine Pavilion 2015

A few days ago I headed off to see the 15th annual Serpentine Pavilion designed by Madrid-based architects SelgasCano.   I got completely lost in Hyde Park, was misdirected by the kindness of strangers and eventually two and a half miles later I found it.  To say I was very pleased to see it coming into view was an understatement, by this time I was just a tad hot and a little grumpy, but all of that faded quite quickly as it simply made me giggle.  It is the most fun building I have ever seen, with its secret corridor, stained glass effect and feel of being in a magical childrens story book.

I do think it would be remiss of me not to mention the catering. Serpentine Pavilion 9

By Fortnum and Mason.  It was very disappointing to see this inside the Serpentine Pavilion, in my opinion it spoilt the look and feel of the exhibit. Serpentine Pavilion 10

And I felt for £8.00 (for clarity -the apple was mine and I had eaten a triangle) this welsh rabbit and cup of coffee, was grim, very grim.

There are some lovely stone benches that are shaded by high hedges and trees which are very cool and of course there is the park(s) to sprawl into, bring a picnic and let the day unfold.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Having never been to a Royal Horticultural Society flower show, what with being landlocked in the Midlands and never being quite near enough to a show to convince hubby that it would be a good idea,  I decided to throw caution to the wind and trundle along to Hampton Court to see what was what for myself.  I loved every single second of it.  I had a quick boat trip on the Thames, strolled around the show and clocked up just over seven miles on my pedometer, came back absolutely exhausted, with nothing more than photographs, a catalogue and my imagination just brimming with ideas.

Just a few pics of my day.